University of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

An overview of available computer-based simulation tools in pharmacy practice education

Introduction. Pharmacy education is changing rapidly, with increasing pressure on clinical placement opportunities and interest in innovating pharmacy curricula. Moreover, sudden changes due to Covid-19 are encouraging pharmacy schools to incorporate computer-based simulations as a flexible, rapid, and cost-efficient solution to supporting the training of pharmacy students.

Aims. This literature review provides an overview of different computer-based simulation tools relevant to patient encounters in pharmacy practice education and highlights their different features.

Methods. A systematic narrative review was conducted to identify and collect data on relevant simulation tools within pharmacy practice education. The search included five major databases: Medline, CINAHL, ERIC, Education Source and EMBASE; followed by similar searches in key dedicated journals for pharmacy education.

Results. We identified 50 studies for full text analysis. They covered 29 unique simulation tools. Seven main criteria were discussed, such as the way they provide feedback and represent avatars, which environments they include, whether they were developed by an educational institute, privately or in collaboration, whether they can be localised, and the methods of user interaction used. It was found that the educational focus of these tools ranged between enhancing students’ skills in dispensing, communication, and clinical assessment, and promoting active learning and independent studying. The selection of an appropriate simulation tool in any course depends on the course’s aims, expected educational outcomes and requirements.

Discussion. This review provides educators with an up to date and comprehensive overview of the various available computer-based simulations in pharmacy practice education, and their capabilities. This review can also guide educators in selecting and determining the most suitable simulation tool for their course needs and aims.


Publication title

APSA 2021 Annual Conference Book of Oral Abstracts




School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Event title

APSA 2021 Annual Conference

Event Venue


Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health education and promotion

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager